Do You Need Both HD Consoles?

Sony’s strong performance in the back half of 2009 has raised some interesting discussions in the world of gaming. In addition to the general feeling of smugness among Sony’s die-hard fans it has caused many, presumably sane, people to start talking absolute rubbish.

I read an editorial piece this afternoon on a well known gaming website (I won’t give it the traffic here but if you follow my Twitter feed you may have seen me tweet it earlier) in which a games writer was talking about how he had initially abandoned the PlayStation when the original Xbox was launched because he felt the energy that Microsoft brought to the world of console gaming was refreshing. Fair enough, that’s a personal choice that each person makes based on their emotional affiliations, intellectual abilities and brand loyalties (financial means will also play a part, possibly the most important).

The writer in question then went on to say that for years he was happy he’d made the right decision because the Xbox and its successor had clearly been the only sensible choice for the hardcore gamers. This is where his vaguely interesting ramble lost its grip on reality. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone could reasonably argue that the PlayStation brand is the dominant force it once was in console gaming but to claim that it had been in the wilderness with gaming fans for so long would be like saying that nobody supports Liverpool FC because they haven’t won the league for a while. They still play a good game and they can still beat anybody on their day. I love analogies, especially clichéd football ones!

Anyway, to cut a long story short the writer has since bought a PlayStation 3 and is now enjoying what he seems to think is a completely decadent, “unnecessary”, lifestyle in which he owns both HD consoles. I always thought that in order to get the fullest experience of gaming in modern times you needed to own both HD consoles (and that’s just without clouding the argument with handhelds, PC gaming and this generation’s most successful home console – the Wii).

Presumably in his one-console history he never felt the desire to play any PlayStation exclusives. That may be the case but can you really say that someone is getting the fullest experience of gaming if they never played Uncharted, Killzone 2, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet, Metal Gear Solid 4 et al? Likewise, if you only owned PlayStation can you honestly say that you’re getting everything out of gaming? You’ve never felt the urge to play Halo 3, Fable 2, Gears of War, Crackdown or Forza?

What about if you had been an unapologetic single brand gamer forever, if you’d chosen Sega in the early ‘90s you would have missed the best Mario had to offer, both on platforms and in karts. Choose Nintendo in the late nineties and you’ve completely missed Final Fantasy VII. Surely, in order to have a complete experience of what gaming has to offer you would need access to all possible platforms? Of course, most people have financial and time constraints and owning several consoles is certainly a luxury but can we say that it’s totally unnecessary?

What about you, what consoles do you have and are there any that you feel you can totally discount from future consideration? Are you a die-hard PlayStation fan that has deeply-submerged urges to play Forza or Halo? Perhaps you love your 360 to bits but would like to see what it was that made Uncharted 2 a widespread Game of the Year? I’d love to hear your thoughts but please try to keep the discussion sensible, nobody likes a fanboy!

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3 Comments

  1. Back in the day I was a hardcore PS fan, wouldnt hear of anything else. Then, the xbox arrived. Had a look at my mates one and the games he was playing, big deal, went back to my PS2, then, went round his house and played the first Splinter Cell. To say i was blown away was an understatement, the animation, the lighting, incredible. So, i waited for the PS2 version, and waited, and waited, finally its annouced, then released, I rushed out to buy it, go it home, it was a poor port. Took my game, along with my console along to game and traded the lot in for an xbox. Comes the time its ‘next gen’, traded my xbox for a deposit on a PS3, wasnt really bothered for the 360 until i moved in with mate who had one, by the time i got my own place i NEEDED to have one, if for no other reason than to finish the Gears trilogy. I now have both, Is it a luxury, yes, am i about to apologise for it, no. Ive grown up and relaised thats its not the system i love but the games it plays, I love games, and I’ll have sat under my tv what ever piece of tech i feel will deliver me the best game(s). If thats more than one console then so be it.

  2. I only own a PS3. Well, two actually, but only one that works. :S

    I have to say that I have never been swayed to pay the outlay for an Xbox as it would be too much of a cost for too little reward.

    I have to be honest though & say I have never felt as though I am missing out – Sure, I wouldn’t mind a go at Crackdown, but the rest of the games mentioned above actually don’t interest me at all & most generally have a counterpart on Sony’s machine. Not exactly the same of course, but similar enough.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do think that the 360 is a great little bit of kit & some games do of course favour the MS brand, but being honest again, I have to say that I never got on with Xbox pads. To me, they feel really cheaply made (I always refer to them as fisher price pads) & the positioning of the sticks is all wrong as far as I am concerned – The triggers however are another matter & Sony would do well to pay attention to those. They are much more responsive than your L2’s or R2’s & there is some weight behind them making them perfect for triggers.

    There’s also the argument that all my friends are on PS3, so I would spend most of my time on that. In fact, considering my backlog, I would no doubt struggle to find time to fit in any Xbox, so for me, I think it would be a bit pointless.

  3. I’ve grown up with the PS brand but there are games on other platforms that i am interested in. Such as Halo on the 360, KOTR on the PC, Fallout 2 on PC etc.. As long as the console does a good job of running the games and the games are decent-to effing excellent, i don’t care if Sony or MS are in third place or any of the silly fanboy wars. Although, i do harbour a mild dislike of the 360 controller as i don’t think i could get used to the layout due to the left stick being where the directional pad should be.

    But I can’t justify buying a 360 as i would probably only use it a few weeks a year for Halo and a few indie titles at the moment. I can see myself abandoning consoles if Sony and MS decide to cut off preowned and implent a ton of DRM. That and i just don’t have the room for another console. But if the PS4 is just a more powerful PS3 with a few bits added on, i’ll probably choose the playstation brand again due to how familar i am with it. :)

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